Nighttime Arcs Visible from Dark Skies
June 05, 2017
During spring evenings in the Northern Hemisphere, the arc of the zodiacal light is fairly easy to see, providing you have a dark sky overhead. Look for it about 90 minutes after sunset. It's seen in the panorama above, taken from the mountains of Slovakia, as a bright band at lower right center. Note that it's enhanced here by a 15-second exposure. The brighter arc at right center is the Milky Way. The zodiacal light is sunlight scattered by dust particles in the orbits of comets. It can be followed here as a faint arc stretching all the way to the left center of the image, fading just above Jupiter, rising in the eastern sky. At the peak of this arc is a brighter patch known as the gegenschein -- the counterglow. It's highest in the sky and therefore somewhat easier to detect around midnight.
Photo Details: Canon 6D camera; Samyang 24 mm lens, firstname.lastname@example.org; ISO 6400; 15-second exposure; panorama consists of 57 shots.